The Raleigh Affordable Housing Bond Case Study
The unique 2020 election cycle posed a challenge for Sinclair Public Affairs’ client, The Raleigh Affordable Housing Bond campaign. Affordable housing is among the most critical issues facing local communities like Raleigh that are experiencing significant growth and the accompanying infrastructure needs, like improved housing options, that come from that growth. The city’s leaders recognized the need for improved affordable housing options – and set a goal to pass a bond that aimed to help provide safe housing options for all residents, especially during the pandemic crisis.
The $80 million bond, now passed, will provide funding for:
- Public-private partnerships for new developments
- Buying land for future affordable housing
- Rehabilitating homes
- Gap financing given to nonprofits and developers to help cover the costs of building affordable housing
- Money for first-time homebuyers
The Raleigh Affordable Housing Bond
Citizens Supporting Raleigh
WHAT WE DID
Branding Campaign, Website, Social Media, Paid Media, Earned Media, Direct Mail
But the 2020 election cycle presented a challenge for a smaller, local issue on a very long, complicated ballot. In a very noisy General Election campaign season full of high-profile federal, state and local races, it was important to cut through all the noise and to make sure Raleigh voters knew about the bond campaign. Each level of races were competing to reach voters via traditional advertising as well as new avenues including social and digital media.
Sinclair Public Affairs helped develop a plan that worked – by reaching and resonating with local Raleigh voters. Starting with an effective message for voters about housing options that are affordable, safe, accessible to transportation hubs, and available to essential workers, the Sinclair PA team created a website that connected voters via direct mail, digital advertising and targeted social media.
The Sinclair team designed and distributed two pieces of mail to high performing voters meeting certain demographic and target market parameters. Overall, the two mailers were distributed to nearly 40,000 households in the city of Raleigh.
In September 2020, the team created the campaign website – https://voteyesraleigh.com – which included current activities and images from the campaign. The site included testimonies and endorsements from key city leaders, information about bond funding and outlined the plan for affordable housing over the next five years.
Sinclair designed a series of advertisements that aired on local radio stations, digital newsletters and newspapers.
The campaign proved a resounding success – 73% of Raleigh voters cast their ballots in favor of the $80 Affordable Housing Bond. The bond was the largest investment in affordable housing in the city in over two decades.
The result: the final vote included more than 70% of a city-wide yes vote, meaning the campaign was successful in reaching voters and compelling them to support the bond. This is an important marker for Raleigh as it continues to grow and is recognized as a premier regional city for families, employers and all of its citizens.
Sinclair Public Affairs received a Marcom Honorable Mention in the website copy category. For more information about Sinclair’s award-winning work in 2020, read the blog here.
Sinclair Public Affairs has worked on numerous successful ballot initiatives, both local and statewide. Read more about Sinclair’s ballot initiative work through Marsy’s Law case study or the Connect NC case study.